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Go For It Garry Monk – It Is Time The Middlesbrough Manager Re-unites With This Leeds Star

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Garry Monk

Why Garry Monk Should Re-unite With Kyle Bartley Next Season

Now that Garry Monk is firmly ensconced into the role of the manager at Middlesbrough, it would be no surprise to see some trustworthy familiar faces follow him to the Riverside.

One such name could be that of Kyle Bartley, the former Rangers man who played for Monk at Leeds United last season, on loan from Swansea City. The central defender was one of Leeds’ top men last season playing alongside Pontus Jansson at the back and would certainly add something to Boro’s Championship set-up.

That is especially the case if the Teessiders lose Ben Gibson to the Premier League as expected, and the club could do a lot worse in the medium term than bring Bartley in as a direct replacement. Bartley ticks in just about every box for this division; he played 45 of Leeds’ 46 league games last season averaging the full 90 minutes per game, so his fitness and commitment are absolutely not in question.

Manchester-born Bartley averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1 block and 7.6 clearances per game in the Championship and was a rock next to his giant Swedish teammate. He averaged just a single foul per game, culminating in 10 yellow cards for the season – a record which is not too bad for a centre-half who does not shirk a challenge.

Kyle Bartley

Coming out of defence, Bartley is very happy too. As he showed during his time at Rangers, he likes to keep the ball at his feet and is actually comfortable as a defensive midfielder.  His pass completion rate last season was just under 80%, which, considering his average of 3 long balls per game is a very good stat for a central defender.

At the other end, Bartley has used his height and strength to great effect at set-pieces. 6 goals and 2 assists in the league is a record most midfielders would be happy with and so his presence was felt in all areas of Leeds’ play last season.

Not every top class player improves steadily through a Premier League club’s academy ranks. Some players take a different path and Bartley, having had his best ever season in the upper echelons of the Championship shows that at 26 years of age, he is eventually now a bonafide Premier League player.

He may yet get even better (he certainly has all the attributes anyway) and so if Boro can nab him, they will have one of the steals of the transfer window.